Deontay Wilder’s next opponent is an upgrade from the fighter he was supposed to fight next month in Birmingham. The World Boxing Council heavyweight champion from Tuscaloosa will now face 10th-ranked Gerald Washington on Feb. 25 at Legacy Arena, the Tuscaloosa News has learned.
Washington, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound contender from San Jose, Calif., carries an 18-0-1 record with a dozen knockouts. He replaces 12th-ranked Andrzej Wawrzyk, a Polish fighter lost the title opportunity when he tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol.
Washington is a more imposing test for the 6-7, power-punching Wilder, who carries a 37-0 record with 36 knockouts. He served a stint in the Navy and also played tight end at Southern Cal before taking up boxing. He also spent some time in the National Football League on the practice squad for the Seattle Seahawks.
Washington and Wilder both fought last July in Birmingham. Wilder knocked out Chris Arreola in defense of his championship, but sustained injuries to his hand and biceps in the fight, requiring two surgeries. Washington knocked out Ray Austin in four rounds on the undercard.
Although he is taking the fight on basically a month’s notice, Washington was in the gym training for another possible fight. He had been rumored to be in line for a spot on the undercard in Birmingham.
The fight will be televised on the Fox Network.
Last week, two featured undercard bouts were announced: a heavyweight showdown between Dominic Breazeale of Alhambra, Calif., and undefeated Izuagbe Ugonoh, a Polish-born fighter of Nigerian descent who…
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